Past tense of pet

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Mon Sep 15 11:30:10 UTC 2003

>Fascinating. Our ears are wonderful (well, it's actually our brains, but...).



>When I slow my speech down, it doesn't sound so bad to say something like,
>"I net the fish and gut 'em."
>It might be an imitation of my dad (native West Virginian, long-time
>Alaskan), but in any case, it sounds much better to my ear slow than in my
>normal, faster dialect (native Seattleite).
>It's possilbe that the effect could just be narrative present (using the
>present for a narrative); I'm not sure.
>Benjamin Barrett
>Baking the World a Better Place
>>  -----Original Message-----
>>  From: American Dialect Society
>>  [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Dennis R. Preston
>>  Sent: Sunday, 14 September 2003 11:28 AM
>>  >What are examples opf "slower accents" (and why are they
>>  appropriate to
>>  >the plain preterite or patricipial forms of "net" and "gut"?
>>  dInIs (speaker of a quick accent)
>>  >FWIW, I wonder if there are people who say things like net and gut.
>>  >Talking in a slower accent, "He net the fish and then gut
>>  'em." I don't
>>  >think I'd say it, but it doesn't sound too bad...

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic,
      Asian & African Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1027
e-mail: preston at
phone: (517) 432-3099

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